WHOSE THAT STRANGER AMONG US
by Charles (Chuck) Robey
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"OK everyone, this church conference is now officially open. Under new business, Deacon Johnson has ask to be heard. "Brother Johnson, you have the floor".
"Thank you Mr. Chairman, I'll make this brief". said Deacon Johnson, "as I don't want to hold up Sunday dinner for anyone. But we do have a problem. Deacon Johnson continued, "I'm sure all of you have noticed the visitor, who has been attending our Sunday morning service for the past several weeks. Well, I'm just afraid he doesn't fit in with our people".
"And, if I may be so blunt, this man is quite different from us. He wears this funny robe, similar to the old Bible times and sandals caked with dirt. His long hair is annoying and he actually stinks, when you get close to him. Haven't you all noticed that no one ever sits by to him"?
About this time, Sister Bee spoke up and ask what we propose we do, here. After all, is this church not for everyone, saint and sinner alike.
Well, to make a long story short, the church conference continued unusually long that Sunday. For you see, no one really had a real significant answer to Deacon Johnson's concern.
What if Jesus did live today? Would he be accepted in this modern politically correct Christian society? I don't see Jesus laying out His Sunday clothes on Saturday night. Then, getting up on Sunday morning, going to church, returning home to a Sunday southern fried chicken dinner, and then calling it a week. That was not His conception of spirituality. Nor was it the purpose for his earthly life.( John 10:10)
Sad to say, Jesus would probably not be accepted in many of our modern churches today. You see, He was not a member of a particular denomination or church. In today's environment, it's imperative that you be a church member, to be recognized as being socially correct. In other words, if you don't belong to a certain denomination, you are not considered to be a Christian, in some circles.
We know, from God's word, that Jesus was both truly and properly God and truly and properly Man. ( John 1:1) You see, before time began, Christ Jesus was already in existence with God.( John 8:58)
So, not only did Jesus bring to earth the attributes of God, but also the human characteristics of man (Galatians 4:4), minus Sin. ( 1 Peter 2:22)
From a secular point of view, Jesus appeared a lot like us. He hungered. ( Matthew 4:2) He was thirsty. ( John 19:28) He grew tired. ( John 4:6) He wept. ( John 11:35) He was tested. ( Hebrews 4:15)
And the government didn't like him. The religious establishment did not believe His doctrine. He had very few true friends. One in particular denied him in the end. And, He was even persecuted by the structured society of the day, then put to death.
Do you not sometimes, have a tendency to relate to the same earthly struggles that our Lord Jesus experienced, as He walked this earth? Have you tried to break into a new church environment lately, only to experience an uneasy atmosphere, among the church members ? Have your friends and co-workers distanced themselves from you, because of your Christian testimony? Well, to quote the old cliché, "Been there, done that".
So, let's take a journey, down the life of Jesus, compared to today's political correct environment. First, we see a baby, who was virgin born and was first housed in animal stable.
"And she gave birth to her first-born son; and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn' (Luke 2:7)
The Welfare Department would certainly have charged his parents with "Child Abuse", due to Him being found wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manager which was used to house the feed hay.
At about twelve years of age, old, Jesus became lost from his parents, when He was taken to church to worship. When found and questioned by his parents, ( Luke 2:48)
His reply was that He had to be about His Father's business. Again, the "Child Welfare" Department would have probably placed Jesus in a Foster home and charged His parents with "Child Neglect".
When He was about thirty years old, He was observed, being dunked in a body of water, by an unknown stranger, which prompted a voice from the Heaven saying, ( Matthew 3:17),
After coming on the scene, He persuaded twelve country gentleman to drop what they were doing, and follow him. ( Matthew 4:19) This could possibly be viewed as "Obtaining Assistants Under False Pretends".
Once, during the Jewish Passover, Jesus drove the money changers out of the Temple and overturned the money changers table.( John 2:15)
Would this have been " Criminal Assault".
On numerous occasions, Jesus was found by the Religious Leaders, preaching in public, without a preaching license. or a seminary degree. And on many occasions, He even claimed to be God, Himself. (See Matthew 23). This could have been acting under False Pretense.
Jesus was well known, on many occasions, for healing the sick and raising people from the dead. ( Matthew 4:23) Was He practicing medicine, without a license? Why, once He even gave advice to a emotional disturbed women, at a local well..This would defiantly come under practicing psychiatric care without a license.
Jesus even did such super natural feats as turning water into wine, walking on water, feeding over five thousand men, at one time, with just a few fish and bread and. calming the seas, in bad weather, with only His spoken word. (Accounts recorded in the first four books of the New Testament). What would these feats get him charged with, in today's court-of-law ?
During the course of His earthly life, He advised His followers, on many occasions that He would be killed and would even be raised from the death, in three days. (Accounts recorded in the first four books of the New Testament). This statement alone caused the Religious leaders to accuse Him of blaspheming God.
Now you have it. We know, based on God's Holy Scriptures, that Jesus was surely God in the flesh and His main purpose was the redemption of mankind. This plan, as recorded in the scripture, is spoken of as "The Full Gospel". ( 1 Cor 15:1-4)
Today, as in the days of old, the human race does not recognize or accept God's deity. Nor, is God's plan of redemptive Salvation accepted. ( 1 Cor 1:18)
Mankind just cannot understand the simplicity of God's gospel. For you see, mankind is waiting until becoming good enough to approach God. However, it's simply a matter of taking God's grace by faith, and accepting the finished work of God's Son Jesus Christ as accomplished on the cross at Calvary. ( Ephesians 2:8-9)
Thus, it's up to us, who claim the name of Christ, to witness to God's redemptive power. ( Acts 1:8)
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